The Pacific Northwest Circle of Success: Mentoring Opportunities in STEM (PNW-COSMOS) is an Alliance funded in 2014 by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate – Transformation (AGEP-T) program. The common goal for this Alliance is to increase the number of American Indian/Alaska Native students who complete science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs. There are four alliance institutions, Washington State University, University of Idaho, University of Montana, and Montana State University; and four partnering institutions, Heritage University, Montana Tech, Northwest Indian College, and Salish Kootenai College. Together, they will create, apply and study a model of culturally compatible recruitment and mentoring for American Indians/Alaska Natives to support their unique needs.
A distinctive feature of PNW-COSMOS is the development of a mentoring community composed of faculty, staff, students as well as members of the Native American community. They will provide support for American Indian and Alaska Native students from recruitment through completion of their graduate program. Faculty, students and staff will participate in workshops, on campus events, and other activities designed to enhance cross-cultural awareness. Annual summits will provide opportunities for alliance partners to share best practices and highlight student research.
The Alliance Institutions
Montana State University, University of Idaho, University of Montana and Washington State University are public research institutions with strong research and training programs in a wide range of STEM disciplines. Many of these are related to environmental science and sustainable technology. Heritage University is a private, liberal arts institution offering 42 undergraduate and graduate degrees located on the Yakama Nation’s land in Toppenish, Washington. Montana Tech of the University of Montana offers degree programs at the masters, bachelor, associate and certificate levels, and is one of a limited number of institutions in the US offering programs in geophysical, metallurgical, mining and petroleum engineering. Northwest Indian College is located on the land of the Lummi Nation near Bellingham, Washington and offers Associate and Bachelor’s degrees. Salish Kootenai College is a four-year degree granting tribal college on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana. Learn more about our alliance institutions.
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The primary sponsor for PNW-COSMOS is the National Science Foundation (NSF), Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Human Resource Development (HRD). This project is supported by: Collaborative Research: The Pacific Northwest Alliance to develop, implement and study a STEM Graduate Education Model for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This is an AGEP – T: Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate – Transformation under HRD grants # 1432932 (Washington State University), #1432910 (University of Idaho), #1432694 (University of Montana), and #1431773 (Montana State University). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.